European climate package – an inadequate step on the road to saving the planet

2008 - 12 - 12

With surprising speed, EU countries agreed at their summit in Brussels yesterday on a plan for reducing the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions. EU Member States made a commitment to reduce their CO2 emissions by 20 percent by 2020. By that time, 20 percent of energy should come from renewable resources.

However, industrial and energy companies managed to take the teeth out of the mitigation measures, so the path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be considerably longer than what the original proposals anticipated.

The original proposal called on power plants across the EU to purchase emission allowances at stock market auctions with the launch of the “green” plan in 2013. However, according to the Eastern European countries with outdated power supply technology, this would significantly increase the price of electricity.

Therefore, the French EU Presidency proposed that in 2013 power plants would receive seventy percent of allowances free of charge. They will have to purchase all of them in 2020. Poland, Hungary, and other countries were guaranteed that funds for unused allowances could be used to repair their old coal power plants.

“The weakening of the original proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will backfire in Europe through greater costs that it will have to face in the future to tackle the effects of climate change. The agreement definitely could and should have been more ambitious,” said Director Dalibor Dostal of the European Wildlife conservation organization.

Photo: Profimedia

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